I mourned for Notre Dame silently because it is a symbol of my back-packing youth and signifies a particularly important moment in my life, but I resisted sharing the news because, compared to the horrors I witness on a daily basis, it just didn’t seem like much of a train smash.
The accidental burning of buildings is less important to me than when they are occupied by countless humans and their animal families – either deliberately being bombed into oblivion, or because of flagrantly negligent behaviour in the building’s maintenance, or because of climate consequences thanks to the fossil fuel industry.
The days of allowing ourselves to be swept away by less important stories are over. Globalisation and social media have changed the game, and we need to make ethical choices in how and what we respond to.
Let’s not blame the French for caring about a building that is important to their national culture, let’s rather blame ourselves for sharing a story that is less important to our own sense of urgency.
We are the ones who help spread the news.
By Katty VandenbergheImage supplied